Philippines

DOH vaccination activity against measles, rubella and polio, extended until March 7

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With the Department of Health (DOH) continuing to provide services and health programs to address other health concerns of the nation outside the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOH has extended the Measles, Rubella, and Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA) until March 7 in order to reach the target population of 95%.

The DOH reported that as of 1 March 2020, 83.7% or 4,269,423 have been vaccinated against Measles and Rubella, while there were 3,939,677 or 82.4% of the national target have been vaccinated against Polio.

In Luzon, Region III had the highest coverage of Measles and Rubella vaccination, with a total number of 881,789 or 91.1% of vaccinated infants and children ages 9-59 months old, while 1,026,404 or 90.6% ages 0-59 months old for oral polio vaccination. In the National Capital Region (NCR), there were 873,532 or 85.7% who have received measles and rubella vaccines. Finally, Region IV-A reached 79.2% or 1,031,342 of total coverage in Measles and Rubella, while 79.1% or 1,205,345 were vaccinated against polio.

In Visayas, 87.7% or 579,319 infants and children in Region VI had been vaccinated against measles and rubella, followed by Region VII with 78.5% or 544,047, and in Region VIII with 78.3% or 359,394 total coverage. While, there were 85.7% or 660,354 in Region VI, 78% or 363,508 in Region VII, and 76.7% 411,066 have been able to receive polio vaccines.

With the extension of the immunization program and with more than 800,000 kids left unvaccinated in the target regions, the DOH continues to encourage all parents and legal guardians to have their 0-59 month old children vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases under the MR-OPV SIA.

“Millions of children are saved every year from these diseases through vaccination. Thus, we call on our local government units to continue strengthening our vaccination programs and ensure maximum coverage under the MR-OPV SIA campaign,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said. “To our parents and guardians, let us retain our confidence in vaccines and put our trust in science. These vaccines are proven safe and effective. Let us protect our children and not deny them the opportunity to grow into healthy individuals, free from vaccine-preventable illnesses,” Sec. Duque urged.